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An original online event showcasing & supporting new work and talent emerging from game design programs

Horizons Conference: February 16th!

Horizons Showcase: April 12th!

The Future of Game Design

Horizons connects diverse and highly qualified students with one another, industry representatives, and to a worldwide community. These future industry leaders are the pipeline to change, diversity, and to the future for the industry. Through our first-of-its-kind conference and showcase, Horizons amplifies new student work and emerging talent from games programs to industry, one another, and the broader public.

Horizons 2023-2024 builds upon the tremendous successes of its pilot programs, expanding opportunities for institutions to represent their programs and for students and faculty to connect from across the world, exploring the most important current topics, interacting with leading industry, building a robust community network, and celebrating top student and faculty work. 

Find out more & sign up now! 

Contact us:

Conference – February 16th

The conference features expert panels, networking with industry, talks from alumni working in industry, and talks to address key questions games students grapple with as the move from school to industry. Open to all enrolled Horizons students and faculty. 


  • Preparing for career in industry
  • Creating portfolios 
  • Community building
  • Studio culture
  • Going solo
  • Fundraising
  • Internships
  • Professional networking
  • Careers outside the game industry 
  • Dedicated discord
  • AMAs


  • Faculty, alumni, or student speaking opportunity
  • Access to conference video library

Showcase – April 12th

The showcase features student work which is streamed to the public and rebroadcast at the IndieCade Festival and on ESTV across Asia. In 2023, the showcase rebroadcast received 650,000 views. Schools can choose to show their student’s work through featured segments or as part of a trailer reel.

  • Featured segment
  • Trailer reel
  • Spotlight games in school on horizons website
  • Promoted student portfolio and resumes
  • Playtesting
  • Game feedback

Last year’s Showcase can be found here!

Faculty Awards

Horizons recognizes outstanding faculty for tireless work in one of four categories:

  • Teaching
  • Service
  • Innovation
  • One lifetime achievement also awarded

Learn more and make a nomination today!

Marketing & Promotion

  • School featured on IndieCade website
  • Opportunity to provide school prompt trailer for website
  • Logon on IndieCade website
  • Featured profile on IndieCade Instagram
  • Segment of highlight reel trailers to be spotlit on social media

Student Ambassador Program

Horizons will work with a student ambassador to help you organize your benefits and manage communications with our team. Less emails in your inbox = happier you.

 Horizons 2022-2023 Recap


More about the schools and student games!


Sonia Michaels is the Chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at DigiPen Institute of Technology, working at the intersection of the Humanities and game development education to promote the importance of critical thinking, cultural literacy, and communication across the creative process. She has taught English (composition, literature, and science fiction/fantasy), professional communication, and public speaking for 30+ years, and has worked extensively as a career coach and admissions consultant. Soniahas presented at GDC, PaxDev, GeekGirlCon, and the New Directions in the Humanities International Conference. In April of this year, she completed a three-year elected term on the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association.

Jim Huntley is a Marketing and Brand Management Executive with over 20 years of experience leading teams across multiple industries. A lifelong gamer, he worked professionally at THQ for nearly 5 years as their VP of Marketing. He is an Associate Professor in the top-ranked Games Program in North America, USC Games. While there, he has led the development of their official esports organization, USC Trojan Esports, created the Gerald A Lawson Fund for Black and Indigenous Students, and is Lead Faculty for the program’s capstone class, Advanced Games Projects (AGP).

Lien B. Tran (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at DePaul University and director of Matters at Play lab, a transdisciplinary design lab partnering in the creation of interactive advocacy solutions for positive social transformations. She is an award-winning social impact and interaction designer, who creates interactive solutions at the intersections of social justice, health, and environment at the local, national, and international levels. Lien applies design thinking and human center design techniques in order to create informed, goal-directed solutions including games, apps, websites, and emerging technologies such as VR. Her work often addresses and advocates for underrepresented, marginalized communities. Previous project partnerships include Open Society Foundations, World Bank, United Nations, and Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

Bob De Schutter is an award-winning game designer, researcher, educator, and advocate for meaningful play in later life. He is a Professor of Applied Game Design at Northeastern University, where he is jointly appointed between the College of Arts, Media and Design and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. He is also the owner of award-winning game company Lifelong Games (LLC). His work focuses on the importance of play throughout the entire lifespan and speaks out against the stereotyping of older video game players in game design and marketing.

Frans Mäyrä is the Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, with specialization in digital culture and game studies in Tampere University, Finland. Since 2002, he has been heading the Tampere University Game Research Lab, having taught and studied digital culture and games from the early 1990s. He is widely consulted as an expert in socio-cultural issues relating to games, play and playfulness, and has served as the founder and first President of DiGRA – Digital Games Research Association. His research interests range from game cultures, meaning making through playful interaction and online social play, to borderlines, identity, as well as transmedial fantasy and science fiction. He is also the director of the Academy of Finland funded Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies.



American University Game Center
Bradley University, Department of Interactive Media
Clark University, Becker School of Design and Technology
Falmouth University Games Academy
Miami University
Michigan State University
Northeastern University
NYU Game Center
Purdue University
University of Miami Department of Interactive Media
USC Games


Abertay University
ArtCenter College of Design
DePaul University Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media
Kent State University at Tuscarawas
University of Tulsa
University of Utah, Entertainment Arts & Engineering


Columbus College of Art & Design, Game Art & Design
Indiana University Bloomington
Michigan Technological University
Santa Monica College
Sheridan College
Western University


Ball State Computer Science: Game Design & Development
School of Interactive Games and Media at RIT

Horizons is possible in part from support from the Knight Foundation

Horizons is a partnership of HEVGA and IndieCade

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance is the leading academic association advocating for the critical role video game programs play in higher education, industry, and government. Our mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities.

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Alumni Signup

Are you an IndieCade Alumnus? We want to know! If you've been a speaker, organizer, juror, or presented your game at IndieCade or any IndieCade-related showcase (ex. IndieCade @ E3, IndieCade @ SIGGRAPH, etc. - doesn't need to have been a finalist) we'd like to be in touch.